Book research often takes me to unique and interesting places, prompting me to ask questions that raise a few brows and might ping me on the National Security watch if I’m not careful. How much does a rifle kick? How far can a horse travel in one day? What kind of damage does a .40 caliber bullet do to a body? How long did it take wagon trains to cross the United States? When were grenades invented? How does one put on a corset? I’m a big believer in writing what you know, so I also like to experience what I write about to be able to better get into my character’s head. Such things take me much farther than putting together a play list. I know firsthand how much a rifle kicks, what a handgun does to a watermelon (yep, sorry, just a watermelon, I don’t get that immersed), how far a horse can travel in a day, and what riding that horse that far in a day does to one’s posterior. Which is not good, take my word for it.
But my favorite research has been on wineries, and the complexities of wine. When my character from the Emerald Belles series revealed to me that she dreamed of running a winery, I had to know more. A lot more. I’m lucky to live in a state that likes to boast about how it grows some of the best grapes in the world. While I’m not sure about that, I am sure that its rolling hills nestled at the base of the Cascade Mountain Range does indeed make conditions just short of magical for growing grapes. At the beginning of my research years ago, I was a sweet wine kind of gal who didn’t know the difference between chardonnay and merlot. Now not only can I tell the difference between pinot noir and pinot gris, but I know exactly what meal each would taste best with. I also learned that oak barrels vs. steel alter the taste considerably, as does the type of soil and water. And, I’ve found I enjoy coastal wines far more than those from inland vineyards.
Now, it’s rare for a sweet wine to make it into my basket. I’m always on the lookout for something new to try and I thrill at the challenge of figuring out what type of meal it would go best with. But wine goes with more than just a good meal, it also goes perfect with a good book. Pairing those two together has been the most fun yet!
Corporal Patrick “Rick” Fergusson the battle rages on. Still
haunted by what he witnessed on the battlefield, the earnest Irishman
is heading west, seeking only to be free of the past. His services
are in high demand; wealthy East Coasters in need of escort clamor to
join him on the journey. But one client, a beautiful lady named Cat,
disturbs Rick’s newfound equilibrium.
is anxious to get to California, even if it means traveling with the
handsome corporal who seems to dislike her so. Cat no longer seeks
marriage; she has pinned all her hopes on making it to the west coast
and starting her own winery. Between the elements, wild animals, and
hostile natives, however, everything seems to be conspiring against
her. Time and again, Rick comes to her rescue. And soon, the
independent lass discovers that her biggest obstacle may be the
longing of her own traitorous heart . . .
Heather McCorkle is an award-winning
author of paranormal, steampunk, and historical fiction. When she is
not writing, editing, or designing book covers and websites, she can
be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a
native Oregonian, she enjoy the outdoors nearly as much as the worlds
she creates on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest
though; connect to her instead on her blog and her many social
networking sites. You can also find her the first Monday night of
every month at 6:00 pm Pacific Time on the #WritersRoad chat on
Twitter, which she co-created and moderates. Entertaining readers and
uncovering stories and points of view that haven't been covered are
two of her greatest passions. For more info please visit
the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!